Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Not Alone Series: Careers as Vocations?

Linking up over at Jen's for another round of the Not Alone Series.
This week's topic prompt:
How do we know what God's call is for us if we are focused on our careers? Is it appropriate to focus on that career and then get married/enter religious life later? Or maybe the call/vocation IS the career and you could be single?

Before I begin, I just want to reiterate what Jen said over on her post that while we all might have differing opinions on this topic, let's remember that the point of this series is to grow in community with other single people so we know that we are "not alone". It's perfectly fine to disagree, but please comment, reply, etc. in charity. We want this to be a welcoming group where everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinion. And since there's no doctrine of Church teaching on the topics we discuss, it's okay to disagree. mmmmkay? :)

I know so many young women who get their first job out of college with no real intention of sticking with it for more than a couple of years. Now, that would be fine if they were married or engaged with the intention of becoming pregnant immediately following vows and staying home with le bebes.

BUT. When you're young and single and have no prospects on the horizon and LOVE your work and this is what God is calling you to do, what's wrong with embracing your career?
I'd say nothing.

When this topic was presented as a potential for the NAS, I have to admit that I was a tad irked.
Mostly because when I hear "vocation", I automatically think about the different categories we Catholics segment ourselves into: single, married, religious.
So my mind interpreted the topic as "could your career possibly be the only thing you do for the rest of your life?"
But I would argue that there are two (or more) definitions of the word "vocation".

The first is Vocation as your "life path" or "the big V"...whether it be marriage, religious life, etc.

The second is vocation in the sense of what you're meant to do RIGHT NOW...whether that be a student, working professional, SAHM, etc.

So that brings us to the big question:
Can a career be your vocation?

Well, yes. Yes because I believe that we all have a path in life and every step on that path is going to be something different, something new.
My life right now is to thrive as a single person, working full-time.
It's my job RIGHT NOW to be the best campus mentor in central IL that I can be.
Because THAT is what God is calling me to be RIGHT NOW.

I can't sit waiting around worrying about working so hard that I'll miss out on Mr. Right because hellooooo if God is calling me to dive into my career, dontcha think He can pull me out to notice the guy who's trying to pursue me?

Now, with all of this comes discernment.
Constant prayer and "checking in" on where God wants you to go next.
It's naive of us to think that we can just take what God has handed us and run with it for the rest of our lives without ever looking up. The job I have right now might be where I'm supposed to be for a number of years, but if I'm not always seeking God's will, I might mistakenly miss out on a turn that I was supposed to take. I don't mean for this to sound like we shouldn't get enveloped in our work or dive headfirst into it, but with everything we should always be seeking the Lord's will.
Because His perfect will and perfect plan is what we should be seeking daily.

Whether or not I think that being a single person and "just" working for the rest of your life is a "big V" Vocation is a whole other topic.
But don't be afraid to be someone who works in her dream job for years before getting married.
Don't be afraid to break out of the mold and the expectations that you put on yourself.
Just because you're working and not married or dating or whatever longer than you thought you would be post-college doesn't mean that you'll never get married.

Let me tell you something, when I was 17 years old, I imagined that I would meet "the one" in college and at the very least be in a serious relationship when I graduated from college, if not engaged and planning a wedding. So imagine my surprise when lo and behold, here I am, 23, single, with a degree in Psychology working full-time in the pro-life movement, fundraising my salary, STILL living in central Illinois AND on my own.
This is not where I thought I would be at 23.
But with time and prayer and discernment, I've grown to love where I'm at and rather that fighting the Lord's plan, I've embraced it (most days), and tried to let go of my own plans and let God's perfect plan reign.
And at this moment, I believe that He still wants me here.
But He could tell me tomorrow or next week or next month that He wants me to go a different direction and if I TRUST in Him and His faithfulness, I will should allow Him to lead me wherever I am to be.

Does any of this make sense? I feel like I just brain-dumped a bunch of thoughts that have been going through my head and well, I'm too tired to go back and remove parts that might not fit. I pray that something in here will help you along your path.

So what do you think about this week's topic? Can careers be a vocation or even a Vocation? Write up a post and link-up over at Jen's! Can't wait to read what you all think!


Next week's topic:
Fav Recipes... for one!
Link-up your favorite one-person meal recipes! It's hard to cook for one sometimes and we could all use some help!

October 15: Chastity as a Single Person
Physical or Emotional. What are your struggles? How do you overcome them?

October 22: Patience
Do you find yourself becoming really impatient, or struggling with your life to "really" begin? If so, how do you combat it? Do you do anything? How can we support one another in this area?


  1. Makes tons o' sense! The "right now" aspect of it all is what my unofficial spiritual director also likes to emphasize.

  2. Agree 100%. Staying in His will is the key and then trusting in His loving plan for your life. Sounds so simple yet it is very difficult in practice. May I please spotlight this in my 7QTs this week? Thanks Morgan! Cindy

    1. Exactly! It's a fairly simple plan, but having enough trust to allow it all happen is the hardest part! You are always welcome to share, Cindy! :)

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one that wrote this because you are right unless you won the lottery if you are single you have to work so you can LIVE and survive....otherwise you'll be living on the streets or being a freeloader (which trust me no one likes).

    1. hahahaha true. I think the biggest thing we as young-women-who-desire-marriage-and-all-that struggle with is getting TOO involved/committed/attached/what-have-you in our jobs/careers for fear of having the "give it up" when babies and everything else comes along. But that is so debilitating to living in the NOW!

  4. It's always about the right now... ugh. It's so hard sometimes. But, we gotsta do what we gotsta do. :)

  5. Yes, yes it does make sense!! Do the Lord's will and everything else will fall into place!!


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